Running, “What’s the Plan?”

I haven’t talked much about running as of late but if you know me, then there probably wasn’t any doubt about whether I’ve been logging miles.  The run is my first fitness love and to be honest, if I gave up everything else, I probably wouldn’t be able to give up the run. 

That being said, there is a reason as to why I haven’t been talking about it much.  I’m currently running a “do as I say, not as I do” training plan so haven’t wanted to say too much about it.   I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.  No need to tell me it won’t work.  I’ve done this all my life in some shape or form long enough that I’m okay with trial and error since I don’t get paid no matter how fast I run.  If doesn’t work out, then there are a billion races down the road for which I can revise a plan and try something different.  No worries! 

When I returned to running last fall after rehabbing the tendon in my foot, I had a lot of disappointing races.  I had somewhere along the way either lost my speed or my guts drive to run as fast as I could when I toed the line.  So I backed off.  What’s the point of going to a race and being disappointed?  I mean really, I pay to race, so it should be fun.  I want to walk away happy.  So I backed off and kept things social and fun for the last six months.  I focused on biking and triathlon and not so much running hard.  I had a lot of races hit my calendar on which I hadn’t originally planned.  I knew if I attempt to “race” them all then I truly would end up racing none.  So I picked a goal race, which just so happens to be where I’ve ran my fastest half to date, the Fort4Fitness Half Marathon in Fort Wayne, IN.  This is my “hometown” race, if there is such a thing.  I get to go home, spend time with my family, see lots of high school run friends and it just generally makes me happy to be there.  The race is always at the end of September and I haven’t been able to go for the last couple of years because of conflicts with Aby’s Cross Country schedule.  No conflicts this year!  We are heading to “The Fort” next weekend to race!!

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When I realized we could go this year, I immediately started to think about the fact that I’m ten pounds over race weight running fast .  I fully acknowledged to myself that my full race/training schedule, along with Aby’s schedule, life/home, work/commuting created a bit of a conflict with my goal to run a fast half marathon.  I needed a race plan and I needed one fast.  I was TRI training and eventually had to give in and start marathon training but still needed to focus on some speed.  So I improvised.  I’ve been using the FIRST (Furman Institute of Running and Scientific Training) Run Less Run Faster app on my iPhone since the dog ate the actual book.  I was using the app for a marathon training plan but quickly revised it to a half plan and tweaked the numbers to hit my goal pace.  Not the way it’s supposed to work.  The app (or book if you own it) spits out a plan tailored to your CURRENT fitness level based on recent race times.  I knew my recent race times were not truly indicative of my fitness or ability level.  So I improvised.  And I kept it quiet.

Once a week I’ve been working on speed, from the training app.  Once a week I’ve been running a fast tempo, from the training app.  Once a week, I deviate from the plan and run long and slow to ensure that I’ll be ready to tackle 26.2 miles at the Chicago Marathon on October 13th. 

It’s almost time to see if this little experiment will work.  I’ve got nothing to lose.  I know that nobody will be disappointed if I don’t “run fast” but I’m ready to run with my heart on my sleeve and TRY to push the pace for 13.1 miles.  As insurance, I went out on a really long and shaky limb and contacted someone who will be running and gunning for the same goal pace (1:50:xx) as myself.  This will keep me honest and hopefully if I start to cry slack, I’ll get a reality check and sharp “suck it up, cupcake” to kick my ass back into gear. 

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I haven’t ran fast for a long time.  I’m scared.  Yet I’m also excited.  The fast tempo runs have given me just enough confidence to believe that I might, just might be able to do this  ….  but only time will tell.  8 days and the results will be written in black and white.

First I have to get thru this weekend!  I have a crazy double, which I’m mentally telling myself will be good prep for the Dopey Challenge in January!  Women Rock Chicago Half on Saturday.  F’N 20 Mile Run on Sunday.  I plan to run both slow and relaxed.  Then it will be mostly R&R next week so I will be rested and  READY TO RUN my ass off at Fort4Fitness.

** Don’t Let Fear of Failure Paralyze YOU  **  Amanda – TooTallFritz  **

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8 thoughts on “Running, “What’s the Plan?”

  1. Fort is our favorite race. My running buddy and I am looking forward to Fort Wayne. Her goal is 1:50 and mine is 2 hrs. My PR is 2:09. Great course, your gonna love it!
    Hope to see you there

  2. So glad to see I’m not alone in “tweaking” what comes out of a training app, or a history-based plan. I use both, and regularly modify them when I feel my goals are not being met. I also deviate by running much slower on my long runs, and a little faster on maintenance days, because the plan is good, but I am the one driving this body. Good luck at the Fort, and in Chi!

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